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Francis Bacon: Painter of a Dark Vision (Discoveries) Paperback – February 1, 1997


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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (February 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810928116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810928114
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on August 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully produced little book, full of excellent reproductions and elaborate pull-outs of Bacon's triptychs which give greater scope for appreciation than more conventional formats allow. Domino's text initially seems more simplistic than simple, discussing the artist's life, work, methods and themes very accessibly and predictably, but you end up with a clear sense of the art and its mechanics which might have been obscured in more technical books. It is as frustratingly ahistorical as Bacon's paintings though, and this book (as well as a recent visit to teh Dublin retrospective) tends to confirm my suspicions that Bacon was not as great as we all once thought. The book appends a section called 'Documents', full of reminiscences from acquaintances, and analyses by the likes of Gilles Deleuze.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yural Bayet on July 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This paperback book on the great British painter Francis Bacon is invaluable. Though small in size, there is a wealth of materials presented - portions of the many interesting interviews conducted with him over the years, a great amount of documentary photographs of Bacon, his works, his studio and his friends, including many color reproductions of his paintings. Also helpful to the reader is that the sizes of the paintings are given in both inches and cm, and that even the locations of the paintings in museums and private collections today are given.
I though I knew much about Francis Bacon, but the information on his working methods was new to me. Even his use of corduroy cloth to make certain effects on the surfaces of his paintings. I ended up buying three copies of this book. One for me and two for my artist friends.
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This is a small book that is able to illustrate a large number of the works of Francis Bacon, contains multitudes of photographs of Bacon and his social network as well as the photographic source materials used in his painting, has insightful essays on the nature of the work and other source materials, and does a good job of integrating biographical material into the essays and linking the biographical with the paintings. This is a small book at a reasonable price that covers a considerable amount of territory. It is a bargain and I recommend it strongly.

Bacon in a quotation from Daniel Farsom's 1993 book on Bacon says that he would like his pictures to look as if `a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory of the past events as the snail leaves its slime.' I was struck by how this concise quotation summarizes both the underlying existential philosophy of the artist and also summarizes his artistic approach to the human figure.

Bacon, like so many artists in the 20th century, was influenced by Picasso. But there is a certain existential despair and thus horror that Bacon is able to convey that is unnerving. Picasso is able to capture the pain of warfare or screaming women, but the graphic qualities remain so strong that the drawing outweighs the terror. Bacon, drawing on the paintings of Rembrandt and Soutine of meat, developed an ambiguous style that conveys indistinct terror, subjective horror, and an image that is difficult to recall once the eye looks away and yet an image that connects with the human fears of life's challenge for meaning and looming death.
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